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Low water flow in new buildings to save 60% water.

Abu Dhabi: People living in new residential and commercial buildings in the UAE will experience a low flow of water from the water fixtures.

Although some may find it inconvenient, the low flow rate thanks to a new regulation will save 60 per cent of the water used in the buildings.

The new regulation issued by Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology (ESMA) came into effect in early January and requires all water fixtures in the market to get a mandatory aACAyWater Efficiency Label' that certifies a low flow rate. Although the low flow rate stipulated for various types of water fixtures varies, on an average it will be 60 per cent lower than that of existing ordinary fixtures in the market, a senior official told Gulf News.

For example, if the existing ordinary water fixtures have an average flow rate of 12 litres per minute, it will be an average of up to five litres per minute with new fixtures with water-saving features, Abdullah Al Maeeni, Acting Director-General of ESMA, said.

This is part of measures to minimise the water consumption rate in the UAE, which is one of the highest in the world. Every UAE resident uses 550 litres of water a day against the international average of 170 to 300 litres, according to the Federal Water and Electricity Authority (Fewa). The per capita electricity use per day is 20-30 kilowatt hours (KWh) against the international average of 15kWh per day.

Abu Dhabi emirate increased the water and electricity tariff effective January 1 to encourage residents to minimise consumption.

Like the Water Efficiency Label, Esma had earlier introduced mandatory Energy Efficiency Labels for products such as air conditioners, washing machines and refrigerators.

Al Maeeni said the water efficiency regulation applicable for manufacturers and importers of water fixtures has given then a grace period to remove non-compliant fixtures from the market.

The grace period to stop manufacturing and importing non-compliant water fixtures will end on June 31, 2015. The grace period to clear the existing stock of non-compliant fixtures is December 31, 2015.

Non-compliant fixtures will not be allowed in the market from January 1, 2016, the official said.

The market share of water fixtures manufactured in the UAE is very low as most of them are imported, the official said. The related figures were not readily available with him.

The fixtures with water-saving features are expected to make a huge impact on overall residential consumption. Tap use is the largest component of domestic water consumption in Abu Dhabi villas, according to a study conducted by the Abu Dhabi Regulation and Supervision Bureau (the Bureau), the emirate's utility regulator. The factual results of the study showed that tap use was the largest component of domestic water consumption, amounting to 34.3 per cent of average daily household consumption. The other major categories were shower use (21.1 per cent), toilet use (19.4 per cent ) and clothes washing (11 per cent ).

This was revealed by Waterwise, a part of RSB in its results of Residential End Use of Water project (REUW). The trial ran for approximately 18 months, and involved the recruitment and smart metering of 150 medium-sized villas in preselected gated communities in Abu Dhabi.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Feb 23, 2015
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